Microsofts Green Expected in Two Waves

Next-generation ERP suite is expected to first be available sometime between this year and 2007.

After a long-held silence around its next-generation ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite, Microsoft Corp. finally announced details Monday around Project Green, the Microsoft Business Solutions divisions effort to align its four ERP suites under a single code base.

Initially expected around 2006 and then delayed until 2008, Microsoft announced Monday at its MBS Convergence conference in San Diego that Project Green will now be available in waves—two, to be exact.

The first wave of Green will be available sometime between this year and 2007.

While Microsofts four suites — Great Plains, Axapta, Solomon and Navision—will not be fully combined into a single system, the first release will include a shared user interface based on 50 common and configurable roles.

At the same time, the applications will be integrated with Microsoft Office and share several common environments, including Microsofts SQL Server Reporting Services and SharePoint Portal Server for easier collaboration.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more about Microsoft ERP users seeking third-party supply chain solutions.

This first set of applications will also interoperate with other service oriented applications, Microsoft officials said.

The second wave of Green is due to begin shipping in 2008—about the same time Oracle Corp.s Project Fusion and SAP AGs Business Process Platform are expected to ship.

Both of those projects, under way now, consist of major rewrites of each companys software.

Fusion will combine the "best of" functionality from the Oracle E-Business Suite, along with functionality from PeopleSofts Enterprise and Enterprise One suites, which Oracle obtained earlier this year when it acquired PeopleSoft Inc.

SAPs BPP will take the companys NetWeaver integration platform—and Enterprise Services Architecture approach—one step further by providing a component repository with reusable objects and a platform for developing applications.

Both Fusion and BPP will incorporate a service-oriented architecture with componentized software.

Wave two of Green will incorporate what Microsoft is referring to as "a model-driven approach" to business processes and include capabilities from WinFX and Visual Studio .Net.

In the meantime, Microsoft will continue to offer upgrades to its four independent ERP suites.

The company will launch Microsoft Great Plains 8.0 Extensions this quarter, and Great Plains 8.5 in the fourth quarter.

Axapta 3.0 Service Pack 4 will be released in the second quarter, while a beta version of 4.0 is expected in the fourth quarter.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead more here about Microsofts purchase of an implementation tool designed to cut time and costs of deploying Axapta.

A manufacturing release of Axapta will be available in the first half of 2006.

Navision 4.01 will be released in the third quarter of this year, while Solomon 6.5 will come out in the fourth quarter.

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